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The Labor Department's closely watched monthly employment report on Friday showed no "discernible" impact on job growth from a 35-day partial government shutdown.

Average hourly earnings rose 0.1% from January, which is slower than the last few months, but still 3.2% over the year - well above inflation. However, general merchandise stores - which saw a surge in hiring in last month's report - lost more than 12,000 jobs, with department stores suffering a almost 3,000 decline in jobs.

"It's great way to celebrate 100 consecutive months of jobs gains, which is a record".

The unemployment rate has risen to 4 percent from 3.9 percent in December. This figure comes from a survey in which the Labor Department asks employers (both private sector and government) how many people were on the payroll for the pay period that includes January 12.

Job gains mainly occurred in leisure and hospitality, construction, health care, and transportation and warehousing, the bureau said.

The partial government shutdown has delayed the release of a range of government data about the economy, including statistics on housing, factory orders, and fourth-quarter growth. "With a continued low unemployment rate, historic trends in job gains, and rising wages, this employment report provides further evidence that the Administration's pro-growth, pro-worker policies are working".

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China's economy is decelerating sharply and Italy's economy has entered recession, exacerbating fears that slower global growth will cut into USA exports. Job growth was boosted by hiring at construction sites, retailers and business services as well as at restaurants and hotels.

Accordingly, one would expect that the headline establishment survey jobs number will not capture the employment disruption caused by the shutdown, but instead will reflect the prevailing labor market forces for the month of January.

The unemployment rate inched up to 4 percent, and the shutdown contributed to the uptick, the department said.

"Barring further tightening in financial conditions that would negatively impact economic activity, the very strong labor market picture supports our expectations that the Fed will keep a tightening bias this year". The furloughed employees, though, were not counted as unemployed even if they did receive unemployment benefits during the shutdown.

On a monthly basis, from December to January, wages barely rose, though. Workers earned an average $27.56 an hour last month.

ADP reported private sector employment increased by 213,000 jobs in January. After revisions, job gains have averaged 241,000 per month over the last 3 months. The household survey will count furloughed federal workers as unemployed (temporarily laid off) but will count those federal employees who worked without pay during the period January 6-12 as employed. "It's our job to educate our clients about the labor market".

US economic growth is slowing from its rapid 2018 pace, but the continued robust gains in employment may cause pause to commentators that have been calling for recession.